President Cyril Ramaphosa says the Just Energy Transition (JET) Framework will serve as a key evidence-based guide for policy making for South Africa’s transition from a carbon intensive economy towards a greener and cleaner economy.
The framework was presented to him by the Presidential Climate Committee (PCC) on Tuesday.
“As this Just Transition framework underscores, combating climate change is not only an environmental imperative, but an economic one as well. This framework is an evidence-based document and a victory for evidence-based policymaking.
“The publication of this framework must now serve as a call to action to each of us to embrace the opportunities presented by a low-carbon, inclusive, climate resilient economy and society,” he said.
The PCC has held stakeholder engagements, community dialogues and colloquiums in a bid to conduct robust research and analysis and hear views on South Africa’s transition in a bid to leave no-one behind.
President Ramaphosa hailed the thorough work done by the PCC and highlighted that the framework has the potential to revolutionise the country.
“It sets out the skills development, economic diversification, social support, governance and finance mechanisms required to make low carbon economy a reality. It advocates for a massive expansion of renewable energy, battery storage, new energy vehicles, green minerals and the hydrogen economy.
“It calls for the creation of long term decent work that mitigates losses from the decline in fossil fuel usage. Green, as the common expression goes, is the new gold,” he said.
The President emphasised that the JET framework will have implications for the education and social security sectors and will also require work to be done to ensure that the framework finds expression within government plans and budgets.
“In education, one of the immediate implications is re-skilling and upskilling the workforce, so that they are able to adapt to new technologies. The challenge we face is to overhaul the education system from basic education level, so that learners are thoroughly prepared for green jobs as part of the new economy.
“Also important is the need to provide comprehensive social security safety for displaced workers and communities. We envisage that this support will include mechanisms that promote entrepreneurship and self-employment where possible, complemented by social protection funds,” President Ramaphosa said.
The President acknowledged that the framework will require significant resources to be pulled from both government and the private sector.
“There will be need for significant capital mobilisation from both public and private sources. Now that we have this framework we will be able to proceed apace with harnessing the benefits of the Just Energy Transition Partnership we concluded with the governments of the US, United Kingdom, Germany, France and the EU last year,” he said.
The partnership – which is worth up to $8.5 billion – is expected to assist South Africa on its decarbonisation journey.
Commission Deputy Chairperson Vali Moosa said the JET framework is platform upon which South Africa can springboard the economy towards a low carbon emissions and addressing climate change.
“While the framework is not an implementation plan, it presents an organising frame for us to coordinate our efforts around the just transition.
“It is a foundation for more work to follow, underpinned by significant mobilisation towards social inclusion and help reach our climate goals, with a high degree of trust between all parties and a requisite policy intervention led by government, driven by industry and entrenched in our communities,” Moosa said.